This year, why not shop locally for your holiday presents? Jabberwocky Children’s Books, an independent children’s bookstore that has graced downtown Fredericksburg for over twenty years, has a wide selection and knowledgeable staff. Like most bookstores, they will special order any book they don’t have in stock.
While you’re shopping locally, look for books by local authors. We are lucky to have a talented group of writers and illustrators for children in this area, many of whom I have come to know over the years. Here are just a few suggestions.
Now's the time to begin making special gifts for families and teachers. Get started by taking a day or two to skim through craft books at the library, or go online and find some ideas. In this article, we've gathered a few neat projects for beginners as well as book and Web site recommendations to help create a crafty Christmas.
Grab some milk and whip up a batch of those beautiful decorated sugar cookies because National Cookie Cutter Week is December 1st through the 7th!
Thanksgiving disasters usually take the form of dried-out turkey or not enough mashed potatoes. But for the Peterkin family, proper Victorians all, Thanksgiving disaster strikes when their dinner simply disappears. In “The Peterkins’ Thanksgiving,” Elizabeth Spurr has adapted one of Lucretia Hale’s charming stories about this hapless family into a picture book edition illustrated with cheerful whimsy by Wendy Anderson Halperin.
Mass-produced holiday cards first appeared in Europe with the early printing presses, hundreds of years ago. As early as 1467, the Christ child appeared on a card in Germany wishing the receiver a good and happy year.
In older times and in other countries, New Year's was a time to give little presents, sometimes food, sometimes jewelry, sometimes money. In some countries, they still prefer to send New Year's cards to Christmas cards.
Bored? Nothing to do? Jump into a cozy picture book on a winter night. Troublesome trolls and a beauty's Beast! Helpful hedgehogs and polite polar bears! Whether you find yourself surrounded by swirling snowflakes or a chilly blue twilight, there are no better companions for winter's frozen brightness than Jan Brett's tales from the European tradition. Read our author profile for more.
After a few days of rainy weather you may be looking for a pick me up, and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett is just the ticket to chase the gloom away. In the town of Chewandswallow, clouds don't bring rain or snow. They bring dinner (and lunch and breakfast). People just take their plates and bowls outside and catch the meal of the day. But what happens when storms brew? How do you handle pea soup fog? Will the residents survive the food weather catastrophe? Put "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" on your plate and find out!
Oliver Olson’s problem is over-protective parents. When his third grade teacher opens a space unit by asking, “How many of you would like to walk on the moon?”, Oliver doesn’t raise his hand. “Oliver’s parents would never let him walk on the moon. The moon was too far away. It was too cold. It didn’t have enough gravity. The rocket might explode.” And when his teacher announces that the whole class is invited to a space sleepover at school, he knows he won’t be allowed to go. Ever since Oliver was a sickly preschooler, his parents have worried about him too much.
Today, Sesame Street turns 40 years old. As a child of the '70's, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, and Grover became my very close pals. The music–from the uplifting "Sunny Days" intro theme to the swinging "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-tweeeelve" pinball disco song–became personal anthems. I learned phonics from the letter of the day and counting from...who else?...The Count.
Right now there is a sick kid upstairs, reading and coughing. And laughing, in between coughs. "Mom, this book is hilarious!" he manages to squeak out, somewhat breathlessly. When I ask what the book is, I'm told, "This Book is Not Good For You," which doesn't sound like a promising read when you are ill. The plot summary includes something about adventure, chocolate, and kidnapping. And a narrator who writes himself into the story, sometimes even falling asleep for pages at a time.